As others have already mentioned, a brake controller is the key missing item. It applies power to the brake circuit, but instead of being all-or-nothing, it applies what is appropriate for the given circumstances.
In 1997, many truck manufacturers started pre-wiring the vehicles for electric brake controllers. If yours is one of those, you can buy a controller and a harness for under $100, and self-install in about 20 minutes, or have a guy at the trailer store install it in about five minutes.
If your truck isn't prewired, budget an extra $50 or so for an installation kit with wiring and circuit breakers, or buiild your own for about half of that. Required parts will probably be listed in the instructions for the controller, but is basically four colors of wire, some connectors, circuit breakers, and zip ties. Budget about two hours for self-installation if you need to build yout own harness. You will need to run wires under the dash, through the firewall, along the framerail to the back bumper, and also tie in to the brake light circuit and vehicle power.
From: Billy Yeager <billyyeagerfla@...
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:50:42 AM
Subject: [classicrv] New member with older tralier questions
Hello everyone, glad I found this group, hoping to get some advice and help here.
I just purchased a 1972 Nomad in pretty good shape. It has electric brakes. My friend is trying to get this hooked up for me and my wife, and its getting a bit complicated.
So here is my question because I am not sure about the info my friend is scaring us about.
Pulling a trailer with a truck up and down mountians.
First of all we are going to Arizona from Florida. We are driving across the states through Amarillo, and over to Flagstaff. Flagstaff is high above altitude , but recently we drove back ( no trailer) and I dont remember any steep steep mountains ( Like Tennessee) but long long slopes. Perhaps I am wrong. But let me give you details.
We just sold the Jeep Cherokkee 6 cylnder and bought a 1997 Chevy Tahoe big truck, with 4 wheel drive.
The electric brakes actully work when we connect the wires to a battery. But we are suppose to leave in 2 days, and I have no one to help me connect the proper electric hookup to my brakes in the truck.
So my question is.... How imperitive is it to have these brakes hooked up?
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